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Monday 3 September 2012

How To Holiday Like A Celebrity

For most people in the UK, today is that first Monday in September that means back to school. Even David Cameron has finally come returned from his holidays and is back to running the country.

I do love a bit of people-watching, and have always found ports and airports to be useful for chance glimpses of those perhaps considered "celebrities" by some. In the past, Heston Blumenthal has overtaken me at the top of a ski slope, and on another occasion, Robbie Coltrane has lunched in the same mountainside restaurant as our party. In my previous life as a relatively regular visitor to Heathrow airport, I've come across people as random as Ruby Wax, Vivienne Westwood and "some bloke who used to be in Eastenders". With the exception of Ms Westwood, who appeared to have luggage enough for a football team (understandable, I guess) and several members of an "entourage", most of these famous types were going about their business much the same as most other people.

The ferry on the way back from Spain also happened to be one being frequented by British comedian and TV presenter Rowland Rivron, who, according to Wikipedia is a keen caravanner together with his wife Monica (author of the "caravan cookbook"). I confess I was not previously privy to this information about Mr Rivron's holiday preferences, so I was a little surprised to see his ageing Volvo pulling a caravan as we left the ferry at Portsmouth.

Again, on the boat, on the couple of occasions that I observed him, he appeared to go about his business like - gasp - any normal person.(With the exception of when I hissed loudly at my husband "THAT'S ROWLAND RIVRON" in earshot of what I realised later was his wife. Oops.)

It made me smile, therefore, when I came back to the UK to see this tweet from British TV news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy:
Because of course, as with anything in life there is a hierarchy to celebrity and, by default to their holiday choices. Rowland Rivron had the benefit of looking and dressing like a slightly older version of my husband - a kind of everyman, if you will. Contrast this with how somebody much more in public life like a Prime Minister, or even the Beckhams, must have to holiday, and it strikes me that there is a fine balance between fame and fortune when it comes to choosing your holiday destination.

With incredible wealth comes the choice to holiday in the most luxurious destinations in the world...and yet you also find yourself ironically unable to venture much beyond the four walls of your accommodation for most of the time without being either photographed, mobbed, or being permanently accompanied by security staff. Yes, you may be staying in five-star hotels, on luxury yachts, or in your own personal holiday villa, but you can't just take your kids to the beach, see the sights or eat at the local restaurant without a great deal of inconvenience. At least our holiday plans aren't published all over the newspapers, with handy mock-ups of what our holiday snaps might look like:


I think, on balance, I'd rather be Rowland Rivron in his caravan.


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